Red Bull Ring Practice 2: Hamilton tops day one

Lewis Hamilton fastest in FP2
Lewis Hamilton fastest in FP2

Lewis Hamilton was comfortably quicker than championship leading Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg on the first day of Free Practice of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, as Formula 1 returned to the country for the first time in 11 years.

The Briton, who is 22 points behind the German after seven races, lapped the Red Bull Ring with a fastest time of 1:09.542 seconds on Super-soft tyres in an afternoon session that stayed dry despite dark clouds overhead.

Rosberg had been quickest in the rain-affected morning session with a best effort of 1:11.295, with Hamilton 0.140 behind, but was a considerable 0.377 slower than the 2008 world champion in  Second Practice.

Hamilton has won four races to Rosberg’s two so far this season, but has also suffered two costly retirements through no fault of his own.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, one of just four current drivers to have raced previously at what was formerly the A1 Ring, finished third in both sessions.

Fernando Alonso fastest in FP2
Fernando Alonso fastest in FP2

Williams again looked strong, with Brazilian Felipe Massa fourth in the morning and Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas filling that position in the afternoon and ensuring that Mercedes powered cars hogged four of the top five spots on the timing screens.

Red Bull’s four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel had a spectacular spin in the morning, but was sixth fastest after lunch, as several drivers ran wide at the fast and scenic circuit in the southern Styrian mountains.

The German, whose mechanics changed the car’s floor after his high-speed spin at the exit to the last corner, was lucky not to clout the barrier at the Red Bull-owned track.

Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo, winner of the previous race in Canada, was 13th and eighth fastest respectively amid intermittent rain and after also having his car’s floor changed.

Sunday’s race will be the first at the renovated track. The circuit one of the shortest on the calendar. (GP247-Reuters)

Austrian Grand Prix, Free Practice 2 – Friday, 20 June 2014
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:09.54237
26Nico RosbergMercedes1:09.9190.37750
314Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:10.4700.92840
477Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1:10.5190.97744
519Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1:10.5210.97939
61Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:10.8071.26539
722Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:10.8131.27144
83Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault1:10.9201.37836
920Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1:10.9361.39445
1025Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault1:10.9721.43039
117Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:10.9741.43245
1226Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault1:11.2611.71945
1311Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1:11.2961.75436
1421Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1:11.4911.94942
1513Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1:11.7652.22330
1699Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1:11.8062.26442
1727Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1:11.9352.39339
184Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1:12.2292.68743
198Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:12.2622.72046
2017Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1:12.2792.73736
2110Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1:12.9373.39524
229Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1:13.5964.05448

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